Cyclo Tour of HCMC – Family Travel Blog – Travelling with Kids

Family Travel Blog - Travellng with Kids

On our recent trip to Vietnam, Craig and I wanted to show the kids the traditional way of getting around in a cyclo. We had been on a cyclo tour back in 2003 when we were in Vietnam for our honeymoon and were really excited to do it again with the kids.

Craig and I thought it was a great introduction to a new town when in 2003 we had a cyclo tour on our first day. This time with the kids we decided to do it on our last day right before we headed for the airport to come home. It wasn’t a conscious decision to do it that way, it was just where it fit into the itinerary as we only had 4 days in HCMC.

Life on the road - HCMC

This little chap is on the way to day care!

I found out when booking that these cyclo tours are being fazed out due to traffic congestion and that they have already been banned from a number of the busy roads in HCMC. This made me more determined to do it as it might be the last opportunity the kids will have to experience it. I did notice on this trip that there were a lot less bicycles on the road and a lot more motorbikes and cars. I was surprised to see a large increase in luxury vehicles as in 2003 there were very few/none.

Cyclo Resto Tour

Cyclo Resto Tour, were off!

Booking the Tour and Cost

On this occasion I booked the tour through the tour desk at our hotel, Signature Saigon Hotel. The lady on the tour desk told me that it’s very important that you book your tour through a reputable company as it is dangerous to negotiate with them on the street as when you return the price will be somewhat more than you had agreed upon at the beginning. Its one of the current scams and one that tourists are regularly getting caught out on.

Cyclo Resto Tour

Craig with the GoPro, his driver was such a happy fella.

We went through a company called CycloResto and they were fantastic. Our tour was a 2 hour tour of District 1. The tour cost $12USD (270,000dong) per cyclo. We had 3 cyclo’s Craig had one to himself, I had one with one of the little ones on my knee and the other 2 kids were on the third. The little ones swapped over when we had a rest stop at the Buddhist pagoda. I know that this is expensive compared to negotiating out on the street but for what we paid I was more than happy.

Total price:              $36USD            820,000dong            $50AUD 

We even gave our cyclo drivers a very healthy tip, especially Craig’s.  These guys work hard and I was more than happy to pay the requested price for 2 hours of entertainment.

Cyclo Resto Tour

Caelan & Alannah on their cyclo, Caelan thinks he’s a big boy riding without Mum or Dad!

The Cyclo Tour

The Cyclos  picked us up from our hotel, we jumped straight on the front with our drivers behind and off we went touring around District 1. The tour took in a number of sites, first past Ben Thanh Market, Notre Dame Cathedral, Saigon Post Office, the Flower Market, the Animal Market, Chinatown and we stopped for a break at a Buddhist Pagoda.

Cyclo Resto Tour

Outside the Notre Dame Cathedral, Alannah & Caelan are in the cyclo in front.

Cyclo Resto Tour

The Saigon Post Office from my cyclo.

The most amazing thing about the cyclo tour is being out on the road in amongst the traffic. Its scary, nerve racking and exhilarating all at the same time. You feel like you are part of the craziness, that is HCMC traffic. I took a bit of video which I am hoping I can upload, you can hear by the tone of my voice how I’m feeling! There’s a couple of high-pitched pieces commentary in a few places!

Cyclo Resto Tour

Photo with some local women at the Pagoda.

Cyclo Resto Tour

The Pagoda we stopped at, mum and the kids in front.

The cyclo’s are really restricted where they can take you now as they have been banned from many of the busier streets, they do visit most of the main attractions in District 1. I had not been through Chinatown or the Flower Market before and the local people were very excited to see my kids in the cyclo’s. Many people took the time to stop and wave at them.

Flower Market - HCMC

The Flower Market, this lady was so happy! The kids were waving at her.

Pet Market - HCMC

The cages are way to small for so many puppies for my liking but something I have no control over.

Cyclo Resto Tour

Getting in amongst the traffic.

The weather was muggy and sultry the morning we had our tour. It started to rain just before we headed back to the hotel. we were about 90mins into the tour but the kids had pretty much had enough anyway. I was happy to head back because it looked like the rain was really going to come down. We got back to the hotel just in time and as it was the day that we were leaving I was happy with that we had seen and the kids had a lovely experience.

Kids verdict!

The kids loved it, especially when they were in the cyclo together without Craig or me. I, on the other hand, was holding my breath in a couple of instances! Especially when Caelan had his arm hanging out the side and motorbike rider were riding past giving him a high 5!

The roads of Saigon

This baby was happy to see us riding next to her.

The Vietnamese are extremely friendly people and they were stopping in the streets to wave at the kids. Mind you the kids were screaming out ‘Xin Chao’ to everyone, which means ‘Hello’ in Vietnamese. We went at 8am in the morning so we were in the traffic with all the kids going to school and off to childcare so there were plenty of kids to wave at and my kids loved being out with them. Caelan in particular was very excited as he was first up going with Alannah and he thought we was very big riding alone.

Cyclo Resto Tour

Keira’s turn to ride with Alannah.

Cyclo Resto Tour

High 5’ing all the local motorbike riders!

I’m very happy we were able to do this and I think it will be something the kids will always remember. I will also be sad to hear if and when the day comes that people will be unable to experience this for themselves. I’ve been lucky enough to have this experience twice. I will no doubt do it again if we head back to Vietnam any time soon.

Cyclo Resto Tour

See I was there! The little mans puffed after too much fun!

Safe travels!

Sal & Co.

 

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One Comment on “Cyclo Tour of HCMC – Family Travel Blog – Travelling with Kids

  1. Pingback: Review of VietJet, a budget airline in Vietnam – Family Travel – Travelling with Kids | our3kidsvtheworld

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